Ear Discomfort After Mini-lift -- Normal or Neuralgia?

Had a mini lower facelift & platysmaplasty 11 weeks ago (board certified, experienced PS.) From day 1 I’ve had almost constant tightness, pulling and discomfort around both ears. Hasn’t been much improvement in 11 weeks. My ears and surrounding area are not sensitive to touch or painful (in fact, they are both still numb) – just extremely uncomfortable. I’m very scared that the discomfort may be from nerve damage. How do I tell if this discomfort is normal healing or indicative of neuralgia? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Tightness and numbness normal at 3 months post face/neck lifts.

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There is nothing to worry about at 3 months when you still have unusual feeling after a face/neck lift. It usually resolves within 6 months or at least by 1 yrs.  Always see your doc for followups regarding your concerns. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Neuralgia after Facelift

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     At 3 months, this pain aspect should continue to improve over the course of a few more months to a year or so.  With regard to tightness, this almost always resolves with tincture of time.  Massage may be useful as well, if your plastic surgeon is OK with that option.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Ear Pain After Facelifting

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Regardless of the type of facelift operation there are incisions hidden in and around the ear that must heal. In many circumstances the tightening of the SMAS layer is anchored to the deep tissues around the ear and even to the ear cartilage itself which can cause some tightness and even prolonged pain. It is very rare for this normal pain or perceived tightness to become permanent. I have never seen a case of actual neuralgia due to these type incisions. It would be considered normal to have this discomfort 11 weeks after surgery.

Paul S. Howard, MD, FACS
Hoover Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.